Sports Illustrated's Rob Mahoney suggests the Pistons should deal Greg Monroe, listing a deal that sends the talented big man to Oklahoma City as the top trade he hopes (but probably won't) see go down before Thursday's deadline.
In Mahoney's thought experiment, he makes the case that the Pistons and Thunder should consider a deal that sends Monroe, Rodney Stuckey and Kyle Sinlger to OKC and brings Jeremy Lamb, Steven Adams, Perry Jones, Kendrick Perkins and an unprotected 2015 first-round pick to Detroit. I'll let you click over to read why Mahoney thinks the deal makes sense from the Thunder's perspective, but here's his rational from Detroit's side:
The Pistons, in exchange, would acquire a host of prospects that both better suit their developmental timeline and make more sense for a roster built around Drummond. Lamb is the most immediately viable among them, and would step in with a three-point percentage (36.6 percent) better than any Detroit regular. He also projects to be a fairly productive scorer long-term, as the 21-year-old Lamb has already broadened his game by selectively taking on more creative responsibility. At worst he’s a nice insurance policy on the far streakier Kentavious Caldwell-Pope; at best he could pan out as the kind of offensive player whose acquisition makes trading Monroe wholly justifiable.
With Lamb also comes Perry Jones and Steven Adams, two players who help Detroit to maintain their emphasis on size and length while getting much quicker at both frontcourt positions. Jones, in particular, makes for a tantalizing complement to Drummond; while every bit as athletic as the Pistons centerpiece, Jones has the ability to work as a shooter (he’s made 41.9 percent of his spot-up threes this season, per Synergy Sports) and cutter to contribute from different spaces of the floor.
Yes, Lamb is an enticing player who'd be a great fit in Detroit's offense. Just this morning, SB Nation's Thunder blog Welcome to Loud City touted Lamb's ability to catch and shoot -- specifically, his 52.9 percent eFG% -- as being critical to the team's success the rest of the season:
That's ninth in the league among guys that take more than three catch-and-shoot attempts per game, and play less than 25 minutes per game. You know, the spot-up shooter guys. People look at this in a negative light sometimes - like, just anybody can stand and shoot when set up with the ball.
It's not always that easy, though. Yes, on paper, it sounds easy, but it takes a special kind of player to be able to come off the bench and answer the call when needed. Then, on top of that, they need to find ways to impact the game in other ways as well. Lamb has done all of that, and it's one of the reasons why continues to be an X factor for the team heading into the postseason.
All that's true, but ... I'm not sold at all about Adams' long-term value, and Perkins is essentially dead weight at this point in his career. And while I'm intrigued by Jones, I'd just as rather see Tony Mitchell in action before putting another body in front of him in the rotation.
So if I have this right, the proposed deal boils down to a guard who may or may not be as good as Caldwell-Pope, a backup forward who may or may not be as good as Mitchell, a pair of inconsequential backup big men and a first-round pick in 2015 that will likely be in the high 20s. I'll pass.
Now your thoughts (and/or red panda GIFs).